Months of planning came to fruition on the 4th of October when we officially incorporated. Since that date we’ve grown to a strong 75 members. Not a bad start.

Having worked with many start-ups and step-up companies over the last decade I’ve always been big on learning from the failures and celebrating the wins.  We’ve made some huge wins this month that our volunteer executive committee should be proud of so I’m going to celebrate a few.

We welcome the generous support from local digital agency, Traverse as a partner of the NZVRARA.  Traverse has been instrumental in getting the Association off the ground, building our website, securing PR and being all round good folks helping with our events and sponsoring our drinks.  Thanks Traverse. We genuinely couldn’t have done this without you.

We’ve had several opportunities for international partnerships that will help connect our members with VC’s, investors and incubators. A number of paid projects have come through the Association for members to work collaboratively and will help build capability. A jobs board is definitely needed.

It’s incredible the support and interest we’ve had in such a short a time.  Clearly the timing couldn’t be more right for New Zealand to embrace this technology and take the lead globally.

One of our key objectives is to provide resources, where viable and appropriate, to assist our member community to build capability, get exposure, expand offshore and reduce risk. This month we were able to assist NZVRARA members Wrestler attended VRonlot in Los Angeles. Ben Foreman, Wrestler Cofounder and Creative, will be sharing his learnings with us next week on what VR/AR companies need to embrace if they want to truly utilise the technology for its new storytelling capabilities.

WREDA kindly sponsored two of our members, Brendon King and Tony St George to head to our Auckland launch tonight.  The two founders worked on a collaboration to complete a six minute long fully CGI-built Wellington Chocolate Factory “Bean to Bar” VR experience, which debuted at the Te Papa Chocolate Festival in August.  Their virtual reality experience will hit kiosks across NZ via the Samsung Gear VR heatset later in 2016.

Along with Brendon and Tony we have the team from Rush Digital showcasing Elementalist at our launch tonight. Elementalist is their new Vive VR shooter gaming experience that combines both tactile and cerebral elements. We are also joined by Dr Roy Davies, a 20 year veteran in the field of VR/AR/MR and CTO/cofounder of Imersia. He’ll be sharing his new mobile augmented reality technology and his vision for how NZ can use VR/AR technology for commercial purposes, and deliver business results.

Speaking of Veterans, we were honoured to have Dr Taehyun Rhee join the Association this month.  Taehyun Rhee is a Senior Lecturer of School of Engineering and Computer Science at Victoria University. Before joining Victoria, he was a project leader and senior researcher of 3D Mixed Reality Group at Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) in South Korea from 2008 to 2012.

We also welcomed New Zealand’s veteran institution,  HITlab in Christchurch and the  University of Canterbury as Tertiary members.  Our Christchurch launch will take place at the HITLab space on the 23rd of November where we’ll be joined by key speak, NZVRARA member Henry Lane. Henry is Founder of Global VRAR Development Studio ‘Corvecto’, which specializes in delivering professional VR and AR solutions for large-scale organisations around the world for all manner of industry sectors from aviation and construction through to medical and education.

So yes, it’s been a big month for wins and we suspect November is going to be even bigger.

See you tonight Auckland.


Michael Gregg (Blackeye VR)

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